Prototype 2: A quick, tentacle covered review

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Prototype is awesome.

You rampage around with magical weaponized body parts that turn into blades, death tentacles and more as you literally devour and dismember the people of what USED to be New York City. A virus got loose and shit got real as a guy named Alex Mercer came back to life as a vector for infection and became some kind of flawed, anti-hero protagonist.

I still can't understand why all the eager mercenary soldiers run TOWARD a guy that looks like this. Just baffling.

The story is awkward to explain because it’s poorly told. You’re given the sandbox setting to run around in and you gain new and interesting methods of mobility that range from hijacking helicopters, to clambering up the sides of buildings, to… um… gliding through the air on high-speed spurts of blood.

You’ll note I mentioned devouring people? Yes. You do. You eat people. Tons of people. Many missions in PT2 are entirely focused on EATING a specific person and just as often there are parameters specific to that missions that often require eating other people to reach that target in a specific order to bypass heavy security. When you eat a person you gain two things: Their memories and the ability to shapeshift into that person.

It’s not like Heller cracks open his jaws and chows down. Oh god, I wish it were so kind… When Heller consumes a person, he usually has to uh, “soften” the person up with unspeakably violent acts before his glowing tendrils seize and pull the tortured, still living pieces of his victim into himself. Then he… ugh, absorbs them. I guess.

Ew.

With that in mind, let’s chat about something I got from Gamefly! After the cut!

There’s little else to add except that it is shit-tons of fun. If you’ve played a sandbox title like Grand Theft Auto, Saint’s Row, Spiderman 2, or even Infamous (Prototype’s unintentional nemesis), then you’ll appreciate the freedom this offers to just fuck around like a maniac. Specifically, this franchise apes two very strong marvel titles of the last console generation: Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction & Spiderman 2. Heller doesn’t swing webs to cry SMASH, but he weaponizes stuff from military vehicles, climbs the sides of buildings when he isn’t literally running on them and he has variants of “tentacle web spray” and smashing hammer hands that clearly draw on the marvel big guns for inspiration.

Unfortunately, the combat is kind of a clusterfuck. It’s a huuuuuuuge mess. But you won’t notice the awful targeting, the choppy response system, the fair-weather-friend indicators to block or dodge, or all the other numerous warts this toad carries nor will you care. You likely will not give a shit as you wade up bast your shoulders in horrific gory madness every time you drop your cover or your antics arouse too much suspicion. You WILL notice how much fun you find yourself having as you tear the city and its denizens to pieces in your laughably silly rampage for revenge.

Speaking of his motivation, Heller is out to avenge his family and its very clear that they’re trying to made a pseudo-Kratos as he wears his guilt for failing to save his family in the form a black and red deformity all over his arms as he uses the virus forced upon him to kill EVERYONE. He also cusses constantly and is rude to the point that I can’t take him seriously.

Heller blusters at everyone he encounters, friend or foe, and curses like five hundred more uses of “fuck” in a sentence will land him some sort of dream vacation. It’s not just him though, everyone he encounters feel fake, stupid and generally pretty silly as they demonstrate their inability to cope with the situation or talk the violent psychotic off the roof. After awhile even the violence just passes a level of absurdity that it was no less shocking than an episode of Gumby. The whole conspiracy goofiness and the ultimate outcome of the game are just crazy icing on cake made of bullshit, but that’s ironically not a point against it given the type of a game that Protoype falls into. In fact, the silliness only enhances the doofy premise making the game flow effortlessly as a result.

And you can still Karate Kick and Helicopter out of the sky.

The game goes fast. I spent about 12 hours on Prototype 2 and that’s only because I went on frequent rampages for the fun of it, conducted frequent side missions and other stuff. I never beat the original Prototype, but that didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the sequel, in fact I’d say the sequel was everything a good one needed to be: a game that improves on everything that made the original great while adding something new.

Although the ridiculously effective “whip fist” death tentacle doesn’t show itself as an ability until near the end of the game, you’ll come to lean on the arsenal you’ve got already so the power-ups are gradual and probably a little more sensible than the original. The game is fun. Crazy fun. I wouldn’t run out to purchase it just yet as it looks like they’re doling out DLC for this sucker too, but if you did jump on this as a purchase you would not regret it if occasional romps rife with wanton destruction are what tickle your interest.

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